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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  December 21, 2010 11:34pm-11:42pm EST

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that process is like. the heavy foot on that, that to the treaty, come back and have the two votes and now it's dinner time, we will come back tomorrow, now we have to do cloture vote on this or that, all of these interruptions and the season have resulted in a situation in which very few members are paying attention, very few are on the floor really thinking about this and frankly the other side doesn't have an open mind about accepting anything. if this were done next year -- by the w talk next year, january, five weeks from now, not exactly a huge amount of time, i think there would be the time to do this with an open mind on the part of the oversight i don't think any of the members of the democratic party voted for a single amendment. i might be wrong but i don't think any of them have and that shows a terrie partisan approach to this treaty and i think it is just basically let's hurry and get this over with is the
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attitude. i think senator gramm is going to talk about the plight we've been trying to make from the beginning which is we've predicted three or four weeks ago that it's virtually impossible for all the things the leader put on the agenda toe and constructive opportunity to review, the date and amend the treaty and the resolution of ratification. the was my prediction then, and unfortunately it is coming true. let me turn to my colleague lindsey graham and then we will go through each of us up here to make a brief statement. >> thank you, john. a couple weeks ago it was my desire to make sure that the s.t.a.r.t. treaty if it were brought up in the lame-duck was giving the time and attention of the seriousness i think it deserves i have since learned there has never been a treaty ratified in the lame-duck session in the history of the country and now i know why. i wouldn't recommend we do this again. this has been a very uneven
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process where one moment we are talking about political votes come serious policy in a kind of draconian fashion and now trying to debate the treaty. i think they understand why the russians don't want to reopen the treaty. they've told us take it or leave it and my response to our russian friends is i choose to leave it at this time and it just -- i am baffled by the idea at least on our side that we cannot wait five weeks, start the debate next year with a date certain, have ten more republicans coming that could help us negotiate a better deal for the united states. it's not like i don't see the value of the treaty. i do. the problem i have is where we stand today the russians are saying to anybody who will listen that if we go to the four stages of missile defense, development and deployment they're going to withdraw from the treaty. my fear is this administration
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will be chilled by their response. but this is administration has been uneven and uncertain when it comes to missile defense and if we are giving the russians say detail because i cannot imagine this president taking it to the limit with the russians because nothing he has done has convinced me that he is committed to missile defense, and when it comes to foreign policy, i must say as much as i tried to be helpful in afghanistan and i admire what he did about more troops, some day the vice president is saying a dear friend, come hell or high water we are going to leave afghanistan. that undercuts the message again. the taliban need to know they are going to lose. pakistan needs to know we are going to win, and when you talk about leaving come hell or high water you are undercutting the efforts of general petraeus. this idea of iran develop nuclear weapons is getting out of hand. so when i look at this administration and instead of being firm they are not certain
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across-the-board, and i fear that if the administration doesn't step up their sanctions activity, iran is going to one day announce the development of a nuclear weapon. so in that context, i do not believe this treaty under the conditions we have today in the terms of the treaty is in our national security interest. i do believe we can carry over to next year we could get language in this treaty the would be a clear signal to the russians the we are going to defend ourselves from strategic missile defense threats that are real and from a republican point of view it's not deal possible and i just don't understand why we can't wait five more weeks. because five weeks from now there will be a better treaty for america negotiated than the one we are about to pass. so to all of my colleagues who tried to make this tr better, to all the people in the country who understand we live in dangerous times, i think this
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is a monumental mistake by the united states senate to ratify a treaty andthe lame duck in way. >> i certainly agree with my two colleagues. nobody has taken this as seriously -- all of us have taken it seriously but nobody has taken it as seriously as jon kyl, and ie want to pay personal tribute to senator kyl for doing that. and nobody on our side was unwilling to year. this is important stuff and let me just starbues for the work that they have done on the leadership of this issue. senator gramm is right for the first time in history a major nuclear arms treaty is bein jammed through during a lame-duck session of congress and that after an election that has sent messages all over this country and all for the world
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with a lot of new changes the are going to happen after the first of the year. this isn't just any treaty, but one that has national implications for our country and the implications on the national security implications for our genctr committee we have to have a firmer grasp how the treaty would impact our country and not just our country, other countries in the world as well. in denying the by partisanship -- bipartisan group of the newly elected senators the right to vote on the street or granting the power to those who won't be here in january is in my opinion morally wrong. i am convinced that pushing this through right now during the lame-duck sen to operate. they said that message loud and clear november 2nd. here we are debating it any way without the places, opinions and concerns of the people newly elected representatives. that's just not right. i don't care what anybody says,
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and it is so they can pass this come hell or high water, to borrow a phrase i have heard over the weekend what is the harman waiting? why does it have to be now? this treaty is so important to this administration, then what difference does a few weeks meek? and i actually believe that if this administration and senate democrats hold the treaty in the prada that begin next year and next, chris they would gain more support than they have right


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